Kanye West missed his dress rehearsal before the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) on Sunday (08.28.16) night.
The ‘Bound 2’ hitmaker was given four minutes to do "whatever he wants" on stage at the glamorous ceremony, held at Madison Square Garden in New York, but he was determined to keep his planned antics under wraps and reportedly refused to turn up for a run through of his set prior to the event just hours later, according to gossip site TMZ.
However, although the 39-year-old rapper is known for making the headlines at the VMAs for his wild outbursts, Kanye surprised viewers at this year’s event as he poked fun at Taylor Swift, who he’s locked horns with on many occasions but most recently over his new single ‘Famous’, referenced his wife Kim Kardashian West’s sex tape and spoke heavily about the US’ issue of gun violence.
The singer kicked off his performance with a lengthy speech in which he told the audience that he was going to show them his new music video and say a few words.
He said: "I am Kanye West and it feels really great to say that – especially this year. I came here to present my new video but before I do that I’m going to talk."
Kanye – who famously interrupted Taylor’s acceptance speech when she picked up the Best Female Video award at the 2009 VMAs in which he said his friend Beyoncé should have won – went on to subtly mock the ‘Blank Space’ hitmaker, who didn’t attend this year’s ceremony.
He said: "Now later tonight ‘Famous’ might lose to Beyoncé but I can’t be mad. I’m always wishing for Beyoncé to win so… For people to understand just how blessed we are, [‘Famous’] was an expression of our now, our fame right now, us on the inside of the TV… [I had the] audacity to put Anna Wintour right next to Donald Trump."
He then praised his wife Kim, with whom he has three-year-old daughter North and eight-month-old son Saint.
He said as he looked at her in the audience: "My wife is a G! Not a lot of people’s wives would let them say that."
He finished up his speech by mentioning gun violence and Taylor, whom he fell out with earlier this year after he referenced having sex with her in the lyrics for ‘Famous’.
He said: "We came over in the same boat, now we’re all in the same bed. Well, maybe different boats, but, if you think about last week, there was 22 people murdered in Chicago.
"People come up to me like, ‘Man, that’s right, take Taylor down,’ – Bro, I love all of y’all. That’s why I called her …
"So I was speaking at the Art Institute last year and one kid came up to me and said ‘Three of my friends died and I don’t know if I’m going to be next.’ If you’re seeing people dying next to you you might think, what’s the point? Life can start to feel worthless in a way. I know times for me, I sit down and talk to older, like, rich people, you know? A.K.A. White. And they tell me don’t compare yourself to Steve Jobs. Don’t compare yourself to Walt Disney.
"My friend [J. Sakiya Sandifer] told me there’s three keys to keeping people impoverished; taking away their esteem, their resources, and their role models."
He concluded before breaking into song: "Tonight, we’re here to have fun! I’m standing in front of my idol Puff Daddy. I’m standing in front of my wife Kim Kardashian West. I’m standing in front of the future, Chance the Rapper. 2 Chainz. Jaden Smith. Bro, we are undeniably the influence, the thought leaders. I’m gonna play y’all a piece of my art and I just hope you all have a good time."